Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era
1917 – Maunsell 2-6-0
No.816 as first built (they later had smoke deflectors)
R.E.L.Maunsell had come to the SECR from the Great Southern of Ireland, where he had built his earliest locomotives.
His first designs for the SECR were two engines of considerable importance, the first being a 2-6-0 mixed traffic engine and the second a 2-6-4T for passenger work.
The outstanding feature of these designs, which did not attract much attention at the time, was the use of long valve travel. Churchward alone, on the GWR many years before, had realised the value of this, but no other engineer appreciated its significance until Maunsell came along. It was not until the locomotive exchanges of 1924-5 between the GWR, LNER and LMS that its superiority became generally recognised, and since then it has become normal practice in locomotive design.
The new SECR engine, No. 810, embodied much of the Great Western practice, including the coned boiler, but there was a good deal of the Midland there also, as exemplified in the design of the cab, tender and other details.
After extensive trials fifteen more were built, Nos. 811-25, No. 822 was fitted with three cylinders.
Largely to avoid unemployment at Woolwich Arsenal, the Government ordered a hundred of the design to be built there after the termination of the First World War. Fifty of them were eventually acquired by the Southern Railway as 826-75 (later 1826-75).
Of the remainder it may be mentioned that six sets of parts were sold to the Metropolitan Railway and emerged as 2-6-4Ts, whilst another 26 went to the Great southern of Ireland, who thus acquired a number of Maunsell’s design after he had left that railway.
Six more of the three cylinder variety similar to No. 822 were constructed in 1930 at Ashford, Nos. A876-80, and another fifteen of the 2-cylinder engines between 1932 and 1934, numbered 1400-14. In 1930 No. 816 was taken into Eastleigh works and underwent extensive experiments as a condensing engine, but it never ran in traffic and was eventually reconverted to standard.
These engines have always been most useful additions to the SR stock. Many of them spent much of their existence in the West of England. All were still in service in 1959 as BR 31810-75 and 31400-14.
2-Cylinder engines – Driving wheels – 5’ 6”, Cylinders 19”x 28”, Pressure – 200 lbs., Tractive effort – 26035 lb., Weight – 61 tons 4 cwt, SECR & SR classification – N, BR classification – 4P5F